HEYWOOD fell at a damp final hurdle in their bid to lift the inaugural Archway T20 title of the Greater Manchester Cricket League season.
They were comfortably beaten by six wickets by Clifton in the final at Woodbank, in a match reduced to 15-overs-per-side on a stop-start day that saw the rain frequently come and go.
The home club worked wonders to keep the action rolling along, when many in the surprisingly sizeable crowd considering the weather thought that the final would have to be rescheduled.
But the show went on and the climax started at just after 6.40pm and finished approaching 9pm.
Heywood looked on course for a good score when, batting first in the final, they raced to 30-0 in three overs. But then Jayden Borg, Liam Mason and professional Danny Pawson all went quickly and the rest of the line-up was strangled by a persistent Clifton attack.
A total of 90-5 from the 15 overs did not appear nearly enough on a quick-scoring ground, but when Adam Holt, Chris Lord and professional Gareth Cross were all dismissed – two by Chris Humphreys – with just 17 on the board Heywood supporters had their spirits lifted.
However, 15-year-old Sam Dorsey came in to impressively steady the Clifton cause, first aided by Dean Morris and then by some big hitting by Liam Hurt.
Morris was eventually run out after a fine piece of work in the field by Mikey Grogan, but then Dorsey and Hurt saw their side home with more than two overs to spare.
Heywood’s four-wicket defeat of Woodbank in the semi-final featured a fine all-round performance by Pawson.
He claimed 3-25 in his four overs, with Andy Dawson backing him up with 2-23, as the home club were restricted to 150-8 from their 20 overs.
Grogan was again a big contributor in the field with two excellent catches, the second a tremendous effort caught over his head on the boundary edge as the ball looked destined for a six.
Pawson, with a hard-hitting 57, and Borg with 30 then did most of the work in eating into the victory target, while Sean Burrill finished things off with an unbeaten 22 out of 151-6.
So, congratulations to Clifton who may have sensed it was their day after coming through their semi-final against Flixton with one wicket and one ball to spare, making 178-9 in reply to 177-6.
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